Universal has not disclosed a price for the deal, although Dylan’s songs are worth more than $ 200 million, according to people familiar with the terms.
Universal Music Group acquires the entire Bob Dylan Song Catalog, a collection that spans six decades and includes many of the most iconic tracks in musical history.
Universal has not disclosed a price for the deal, although Dylan’s songs are worth more than $ 200 million, according to people familiar with the terms. The collection includes 600 works, from songs from the early ’60s such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin” “to an album released this year,” Rough and Rowdy Ways “.
Dylan, 79, is taking advantage of the boom in music rights. The value of songs and recordings has skyrocketed in recent years thanks to streaming, which fueled a five-year expansion for the music industry after a deep crisis. He does not sell the records, which are a separate asset.
“It is no exaggeration to say that his vast work has captured the love and admiration of billions of people around the world,” Lucian Grainge, Managing Director of Universal, said in a statement. “I have no doubt that decades, if not centuries, the words and music of Bob Dylan will continue to be sung and performed – and cherished – everywhere.
Song rights, represented by music publishers, usually don’t make as much money as recordings. But they can be a more reliable source of income. Songs can be used to make money in a variety of ways – including radio broadcasting, advertising, and movie licensing – compared to the often fleeting surge in sales of a new record.
Last week, Stevie Nicks sold a controlling stake in his writing that valued the catalog at around $ 100 million.
Dylan never wrote any pop songs – no Dylan song has ever topped the Billboard key charts – but few songwriters can claim a more comprehensive catalog. In 2004, Rolling Stone included 15 of his works on their list of the greatest songs of all time, and placed “Like a Rolling Stone” at the top. Only the Beatles gained more spots on the list.
Dylan entered the scene in the early 1960s as a folk poet and wrote songs to denounce the war in Vietnam. His transition to electric guitar and more rock sound in the middle of this decade alienated some of his most ardent fans, but also led to some of his best work including “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Blonde on Blonde” .
The deal strengthens Universal Music Group as it prepares for an initial public offering next year. With its recent deals with Taylor Swift and Dylan, Universal has added works by two of the most successful songwriters in musical history.